Expo 2020 signs are everywhere in the scorching desert, as if Dubai is waiting for a future that is already in the past.
However, it is still ahead. The name of the world exhibition, postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, remains the same.
Currently, the exhibition is scheduled from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 under the motto “Think together, create the future” (“Connect thoughts, create the future”). The venue is located in the southwestern part of the metropolis. The three key themes are sustainable development, mobility and opportunities, presented in three large pavilions.
Mass event during a pandemic
At the moment, Dubai’s largest construction site is being treated as if tomorrow will not come. Completely detached from the global crisis, you feel like in a bubble. Country arbors are formed. But how real is a mass event of such a scale in these circumstances?
In the end, the organizers stick to their forecast of 25 million visits, more than 60 live performances a day. None of the 190 participating countries has yet refused to participate. According to the organizers, the world exhibition may even become “the first major post-Coronavirus event.”
Dubai continues to attract tourists
Today it seems that October is an eternity. In addition, tourism, which has long resumed in Dubai, can be interpreted as a continuous field test against the background of the coronavirus and in the fight against the pandemic.
A large number of flights and a significant number of tourists inspire Dubai. Museums and shopping malls are open, hotels and restaurants are surprisingly full. The hygiene protocols used seem to be largely effective. As in most countries, masks are mandatory everywhere.
It seems that nothing can slow down the preparations for Expo 2020, the first world exhibition in the Arab world. For future visitors, markings on the floor and benches already warn of a social distance of two meters. Disinfectant dispensers are available under solar modules. Flowers can be seen everywhere, and trees and sun umbrellas provide protection from the scorching sun.
Particular attention is drawn to the dome of the Al Wasl Dome pavilion and the pavilion of the host country, the work of Spanish star architect Santiago Calatrava. Thematically, the pavilion on sustainable development is almost complete, although it is controversial, as the area is artificially squeezed out of the desert.
There is some uncertainty about the additional costs of moving the exhibition. However, the beginning of the six-month show is approaching, and, as stated, the opening is scheduled for October this year – “The Show Must Go On”.